About Invasive Species
Invasive Species Action Plan
What are invasive species?
Invasive species are plants and animals which occur outside their natural range and can have significant ecological, social and/or economic impacts once established. As an urban municipality in the estuary with extensive shoreline and inland watercourses, Richmond is particularly vulnerable to the introduction and the spread of invasive species.
Over two dozen invasive plants, animals and insects have been detected in Richmond. This includes several high risk species such as:
- knotweed, which can grow through asphalt
- parrot’s feather, which impacts the storm drain system
- fire ants, who can cause a painful sting and render infested lawns impassable
- giant hogweed which can cause severe skin burns
The City of Richmond has taken a practical approach to managing invasive species and continues to be on the forefront in efforts to detect and rapidly respond to newly arrived invasive species. Utilizing the City’s Enhanced Pesticide Management Program, the invasive species management approach in Richmond has produced many noteworthy accomplishments.
To mitigate the significant infrastructure, ecological, human health and economic impacts of invasive species, the City has been proactively addressing emergent invasive species on City lands. The City is a demonstrated leader in invasive species response, and the newly adopted Invasive Species Action Plan formalizes a strategic and risk-based approach to guide and prioritize invasive species management into the future. The Plan provides guidance on setting priorities, establishing a consistent approach, and delivering public outreach and engagement.
The following species have been recognized under the Invasive Species Action Plan as priority species: